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The Day After

October 23, 2012

Reposted from the 2012 Scenario, Aug. 16, 2012

I was saying yesterday that my wife and I were walking on the beach when I suddenly was seized with the desire to have peace in my life. Not just to think about it or wish for it, but to absolutely have it right now and forever.

What I saw in that moment was that, unless I actually took a stand to have no more conflict in my life, the day would never come when my life would be conflict-free. And I saw this as a kind of burning realization. I was a man on fire and had to have peace.

I also don’t want to over-dramatize the matter. It isn’t as if I go around picking a quarrel with everyone I meet and I’m not trying to give that impression. But it was nevertheless a choicepoint in my life, no doubt driven by the rising energies.

So this was my first day having declared peace in my world and I decided to take stock. The first thing I could say is that I feel totally lost. I notice that I’ve created many skills that have to do with locking horns with people.

I can deliver a zinger; I can mantle myself in self-righteous indignation; I can pose as a defender of freedom and many other guises, but I don’t have a great number of skills or techniques that are connected to actually having peace in my life and avoiding conflict. So I really am a naif in this area.

On my first day after having declared peace, I received the usual email calling me a fool for supporting President Obama, saying the Neptune Expedition unhinged me, calling me two-faced for this and that. The usual gloves were thrown down, the insults delivered and the Law of Attraction seemed like it was going to keep rolling along as if nothing had changed.

I wondered if the gods were testing my new resolve. Having at last arrived on dry land, the merest newbie, I felt like a dry drunk who craved a shot, a fix, an argument with anyone, just to feel the blood coursing through my veins. Not having a retort, not parrying or thrusting was altogether new to me. I felt dumb, unskilled, vulnerable — a fish out of water, a bird that won’t fly.

All the learning I had done to be a “real man,” to “take control” and defend myself was now obsolete. I knew not how to be. I had handed my pistols to the marshall and was absolutely defenceless and awkward.

The first necessity was to see to impulse control. The scrapaholic, the remnants of the light warrior, now just a scratchy old man, had no one to fight with any more. Now the finer work began.

All my patterned reactions came up. I didn’t feel peaceful. I felt jangled, worse than quitting smoking. Metaphorically I kept reaching for a gun that wasn’t there. And catching myself flexing my hand, wanting the feel of iron, so to speak.

I’m on the merest fringe of peace. The landscape is not much different than it’s always been. No one else has joined me in my resolve. No one even knows of it. I’m alone and the same tigers seemed to continue biting at my heels, without mercy, or so it seemed.

This was the work I’d postponed since forever, masked by riding a white charger, hidden away under the pretense of bringing freedom to the world and all the other subterfuges and distractions. Now it was just plainly before me. Excuses wouldn’t work any longer.

But I did get through Day One by the skin of my teeth.

And tomorrow I go on holidays, off into the wild, away from civilization, mercifully alone with myself, slowing life down and observing the rise of these jangling patterns, which have been my armor and shield for the better part of my life. Most primitive of vasanas — the promise made to me never again to watch someone being violent with another without stepping in. Kamikaze. Knight Templar, rushing in where angels fear to tread, to joust with the Devil.

I did make it through my first day. I breathe a sigh of relief and make one imaginary notch on an imaginary tally.

Not peace. Not pizzazz. Not even ease. But, for one day, cessation of conflict.

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